The remarks recently made by newly promoted Queens Park Ranger manager Harry Redknapp were a bit shocking, but this may take an average Premier League football supporter by shock – QPR will not only remain in the Premier League, they’ll easily claim a spot in the top flight next season.
And while it would have been beautiful to indicate Redknapp’s men will secure a Champions League spot, it’s for everyone’s best interest to remain grounded.
Yet, remaining grounded is near impossible after the finish to last season’s play-off for promotion to the Premier League as Bobby Zamora notched the game-winner in the dying embers of the match, keeping ol’ Harry in the world of football for a bit longer.
Redknapp faced the ever-so realistic prospect of walking away from football last May as it appeared his side were up against it as they faced Derby County. But, it’ll be another football-filled year for the 67-year-old who indicated in his recent press conference, “If we hadn’t gone up this year, I would have turned it in.” Then again, it’s a realistic sentiment poured forth by Redknapp, as Championship football isn’t for everyone.
“With 10 minutes to go I was thinking ‘what golf club should I join this year – should I play here or there?’ and then suddenly Bobby ruined it all,” exclaimed a jubilant Redknapp.
And with the excitement looming for amicable returns to White Hart Lane, Anfield and Old Trafford, the 2014/15 Premier League season is one Redknapp may never forget. New faces, new grimaces, and a few jumps from his chair we’re in for a wild ride before QPR begin their campaign against Hull City.
After spending a season in the Championship, Redknapp is ready as ever to regain his standing in the Premier League. The 67-year-old is determined to not make the same mistakes again, and especially those Mark Hughes made. Except Redknapp to purchase footballers whom want to wear the crest above their heart, rather than to fill their pockets with loads of cash.
The West London club are best served utilising footballers whom want to continue their careers, rather than slipping off at the wayside.
Needless to say, the entirety of the QPR organisation is hungry for success; not only Premier League survival, but whole heartedly aiming for Premier League success. With plenty of players’ careers coming to a close, this may be one last gasp at glory, perfection and to cement themselves as a Premier League contender. Even more so for Redknapp, who was mere moments away from retirement, he’ll likely be the kid in the candy store with absolute resources at his disposal – and if he uses them correctly, there is no reason QPR cannot challenge for well, utter brilliance.
Last Season: 4th in Championship
Ins: Steven Caulker (10.75 mil, Cardiff), Jordan Mutch (7.57 mil, Cardiff), Mauricio Isla (loan, Juventus), Rio Ferdinand (free transfer), Julio Cesar (end of loan, Toronto FC)
Outs: Esteban Granero (4.00 mil, Real Sociedad), Gary O’Neil (free transfer, Norwich City), Stephane Mbia (free transfer), Yossi Benayoun (free transfer, Maccabi Haifa), Ji-Sung Park (retire), Niko Kranjcar (Dynamo Kyiv)
In checks Rio Ferdinand. The former Manchester United defensive mainstay, Ferdinand has recently signed for Redknapp’s QPR ahead of the 2014/15 campaign for far less wages than he sported at Old Trafford. And while Rio enters Loftus Road in hopes of keeping his career alive, it is his brother Anton Ferdinand who was offloaded to Police United. As only one Ferdinand polices the backline now for QPR, it appears the West London outfit are in for Cardiff’s Steven Caulker, who could round out a very experienced backline.
Arguably the most important figure in Redknapp’s squad is Rio Ferdinand. The 35-year-old may be in the latter stage of his career, but the professionalism he’s been given under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson was like no other. And let’s not forget that it was Redknapp himself who presented Ferdinand with his professional debut for West Ham United in 1996.
The reunion between the former Hammers may bring a smile or two to the faces at Loftus Road, but the relationship goes deeper than previous encounters. Ferdinand offers up expertise like no other in the Premier League – titles as expansive as the goldmines in the United States during the gold rush.
One to Watch
Yet, only good characters will be retained in the QPR squad, and instances aside – yes we’re talking to you Joey Barton, the squad will be wiped clean of all other previous marquee signings. Jose Bosingwa, for one, who marched off the pitch in their draw with Reading has been replaced, while Park Ji-sung, Christopher Samba, Julio Cesar and Djibril Cisse all made a splash – a very, very minor one at best.
But shouldn’t we all be thankful for the return of none other than Joey Barton? The return of Barton back to the Premier League is frightening at best, but will provide for a few laughs, horrible tackles and moments of brilliance. More importantly, it’d be correct to think Barton is a reformed man with his recent ventures in commentating, there is absolutely no questions, Barton knows his football. While his technical ability may not be sublime, but his passion can be rivaled with the very best, including Roy Keane.
QPR have the infrastructure in place to hold their ground in the Premier League for at least another year. They have a good blend of young talent with experienced heads in important areas of the field. If they hold onto Loic Remy they should also have a strong goal source to further solidify their Premier League status.
BPF Prediction: 19th